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Portfolio Recovery Associates

Portfolio Recovery Associates runs with the big dogs. Portfolio Recovery Inc. launched in 1996 and took the company public (NASDAQ: PRAA) in November 2002. Portfolio Recovery Associates is a debt buyer, which typically means that Portfolio Recovery Inc. purchases large quantities of debt from creditors or other collection agencies that have written that debt off as uncollectible. Understandably, debt that has been deemed uncollectible is cheap. On its website, Portfolio Recovery Associates says that has purchased more than 30 million consumer accounts, and that in 2012, it broke “all records for cash collections, revenues, and net income.”

Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC boasts more than 3,200 employees in the United Kingdom and in ten states: Virginia, Alabama, California, Illinois, Kansas, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.

Since Portfolio Recovery Associates is a publicly traded company, it issues quarterly financial reports that are available to investors and the public. Here’s a glimpse into Portfolio Recovery Associates’ financials: In 2012, Portfolio Recovery Associates raked in $592.8 million in revenue, compared with $458.9 million in 2011. In the fourth quarter of 2012 alone, Portfolio Recovery Associates paid $199 million for portfolios of charged-off consumer debt.

Portfolio Recovery Affiliates

Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC has a number of subsidiaries, which some might call Portfolio Recovery affiliates. Portfolio Recovery affiliates included Revenue Discovery Systems, MuniServices, and Broussard Partners Associates.

These subsidiaries, which the Portfolio Recovery Services groups under the umbrella of PRA Government Services, are in the business of collecting unpaid tax debt on behalf of municipal governments.

Revenue Discovery Services (RDS) says that it works for 475 local and state government jurisdictions, employs more than 230 staff members, and processes more than $750 million in tax revenue. It appears that RDS conducts collections on business taxpayers in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas.

MuniServices says that it works on behalf of 260 cities around the U.S. and that it has collected over $1 billion in tax revenue. Their latest offering involves giving municipalities License Plate Recognition technology, which scans license plates with infrared beams, so that the debt collection agency can find cars with outstanding parking fines. MuniServices positions this as “the opportunity to know where scofflaw are located.”

Broussard Partners & Associates, another subsidiary or Portfolio Recovery Associates affiliate, was purchased by PRA in 2008. Located in Houston, Texas, BPA uses tax examiners and Certified Public Accountants to perform on-site taxpayer audits. They say that they have 35 local government jurisdictions as clients.

But those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Portfolio Recovery Associates affiliates. The company’s other arms include PRA Location Services, which the company says conducts vehicle location, skip tracing, and “collateral recovery” for companies that underwrite auto loans. It also has PRA Professional Services, which conducts auditing and “revenue recovery” for private businesses. Its Claims Compensation Bureau files class action claims on behalf of institutional investors. Finally, Mackenzie Hall Holdings Ltd. deals in outsourced and contingent debt collection.

Portfolio Recovery Complaints

Although Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (as of April 2013), the BBB had logged 1,303 closed Portfolio Recovery complaints within the previous three years, including 519 closed Portfolio Recovery complaints within the previous 12 months.

Another way to track Portfolio Recovery complaints is to look at the number of lawsuits that have been filed against the company. According to, Portfolio Recovery was named as a defendant in three dozen lawsuits in March 2013 alone. The vast majority of these Portfolio Recovery complaints alleged that the company violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Stop Portfolio Recovery Harassment

There are many debt collectors who cross the line into behavior that’s prohibited by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Types of debt collection harassment include phone calls made early in the morning or late at night, calling numerous times each week (or multiple times per day), and contacting friends and family members. Debt collectors who work for debt buyers have been known to engage in other types of illegal behavior. For example, according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector can’t make threats that he doesn’t intent to take or that he’s not legally allowed to take. How does this relate to debt buyers? Each state has a statute of limitations, after which it is not possible for a debt collector to file a lawsuit against you in court. The statute of limitations varies from state to state, so you should consult your own state’s laws. Oftentimes, the debt purchased by debt buyers is old, and may have exceeded the statute of limitations. Nevertheless, some debt collectors will call consumers and threaten to sue them or garnish their wages. This is a violation of the FDCPA. If this or any violation has happened to you, consult with an experienced credit harassment lawyer to protect your rights.

In addition, when debt buyers purchase debt in bulk, it’s often from other debt collection agencies that haven’t been successful in collecting on it. Many times, the records that are transferred to the debt buyer have very little identifying information. This often leads to cases of mistaken identity, whereby a debt collector calls a consumer who has the same name as the person who owes the debt, or has the phone number once owned by the person who owes the debt. It’s important to note that the FDCPA protects all consumers – even those who are hounded about a debt that isn’t theirs to pay.

That’s why you should insist upon documentation of the debt that Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC says that you owe. Once you receive the documentation, if you don’t believe the debt is yours, you should send Portfolio Recovery Associates a letter within 30 days disputing the debt. It’s up to PRA to send you proof that you owe the money. Until then, Portfolio Recovery Associates isn’t allowed to contact you.

Portfolio Recovery Phone Numbers and Address

Portfolio Recovery Associates
120 Corporate Blvd.
Norfolk, VA 23502

Portfolio Recovery Phone Number: 888-772-7326


6 thoughts on “Portfolio Recovery Associates
  1. Your company calls my house twice a day despite the fact that I talked to them an told them I was on bankruptcy and had to go on disability so it was dismissed. I have no extra money and have consulted my lawyers office and was informed that SSI is not considered income and is not wage – garnishable. I don’t have the money to refile

  2. The person I talked to said they were from a attorneys office and wanted to investigate if the debt was recoverable. This is against the law to say you are from an attorneys office no matter how vague you attempt to phrase it. Also if that were true why am I still getting 2 phone calls a day? When I do answer no one is there, maybe I could work for you part-time?

  3. I need to speak to someone in charge. why have i paid a settlement amount only to find out you have passed it on to someone else who is also trying to get more money!?

  4. im sm sow mad with this people i paid in sept 24 and is now oct 17 and they went in my accout and charge me again and the bank charge me 15 becuase i didnt have the money its only been 3 \weeks since i paid and they went and charge me i dont get paid every week sow my account was empty sow upset now i own the back money i cant believe it

  5. A call to Portfolio to ask their address so I could mail a cease and desist letter was met by an associate that refused to give me their mailing address. A call to the number provided here got an amiable response and gave me the address without any problem. The corrected address given, was 140 Corporate Blvd. and the Zip Code was 23541.

  6. I spoke to a representative with Portfolio in March, 2012. I asked why they call constantly? She said “we have to call, it’s our job. It doesn’t matter whether you like it or not, nor if you send a cease & desist letter, Portfolio is still going to call you.”

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"The FDCPA is a consumer protection statute and was intended to permit, even encourage, attorneys like Lemberg to act as private attorney generals to pursue FDCPA claims."

U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Evon v. Law Offices of Sidney Mickell
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